The change of location, whether through migration, illness, war, or old age is something we have to grapple with in genealogy. My mother's family was from Pownal, a little town in southern Vermont, USA, where one of the main names was Barber. Joseph Barber, a Sgt in the Revolution, put a mill on the pond that is now called Barber's Pond, had two wives, and umpteen children. Many of them stayed in the area, increasing the number of people named Barber. The part of the cemetery they are buried in is called Barber town.
Our mystery for decades was what happened to the mothers of these children? We still don't know what happened to the first wife, who probably died as a young woman before the Revolution. But the second one, the one who had most of the children, and who administered her husband's estate, what happened to her? She was not buried in Pownal, with her husband and most of her children. Her probate is in Pownal, but she was not.
The answer came from Findagrave, when graves in towns all over Vermont were photographed and the photos uploaded by volunteers. I excitedly found her name and took a drive to northern Vermont. Since then I have tried to piece together why grandma Leah Grover Barber left her home in Pownal, to die in Cambridge VT, some 150 miles away. It is three hours by car, so imagine what a journey that would be back in the early 1800s.
My read of the local cemetery told me why. Some of her children were there. She had boys to stay in Pownal and run the mill and the farm, but she went to where her daughters Mary and Tryphena and at least one son, Jeremiah, were living. How do we know that? Because Leah is surrounded in the cemetery by her daughters, a son in law, a daughter in law, and grandchildren. The stones tell us Leah died in 1811 in her 55th year. We know she was a widow, and had had many children. We do not know her cause of death. Even more intriguing is her daughter Mary died just two years later, in her late 30s. Daughter Tryphena continued to live in Cambridge, until her death in 1872, 61 years after her mother's death. Son Jeremiah's wife is there, but he changed his locality after her death, moving to Westport NY, perhaps with another brother, Hezekiah, who is buried near him, and about whom we don't know much yet.
This week I improved the profile of Leah https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Grover-1212, and will try to uncover who this Hezekiah Barber was.